Sykora is giving us much better than expected play. The question really is, can he keep it up throughout the 2nd half of the year? His chemistry with Elias is undeniable, and it seems like they instinctively know where each other is going to be on the ice at all time.
If he keeps it up, and can pot 20+ goals this year, then I can see him playing here 1 more season before calling it a career (especially if he is willing to re-sign for around $750K).
Anyone can play with Elias, he is the only player on the Devils who can make wingers better than they really are.
The Devils now have won five of their last seven games. Those wins came over teams we need to be beating (Carolina and Winnipeg) and teams that are currently among the East's elite (Philly, Washington, Buffalo). And one of those two losses was a close one where we almost took down the streaking defending champs.
Of our next six games, only one comes against a team with more points than us (Florida) and three are against last-place teams (NYI and Columbus). November has the potential to be a very good month for this team.
Have to admit they played a great game last night.
As recently as the beginning of this season, I wasn't ready to see No. 27 go up. Now I'm ready. He was a supremely-talented player who consistently gave us "How the hell did he do that?" moments. He was a winner and was a huge part of this team's success for a long time. It's not like he badmouthed the organization or pissed on the fans. He always played hard (though he was so good that it looked effortless) and, from everything I saw and heard, spoke fondly of the Devils.
Time to let the insignificant stuff go and remember the good times, IMO.
He is one of only four Devils that have three rings with the team. I fully appreciate much more since he left. I don't blame him for moving on as he would have been forever be judged in a Devils uniform in the shadow of Stevens. Winning with Anaheim solidified his greatness.
I hold the Devils core four of Stevens, Nieds, Dano and Rafi in the same esteem I hold Savard, Robinson, Lapointe, Bouchard as the greatest defense core in league history.
Nieds was a great Devil and the team loved him (I still remember Big Jim McKenzie crushing Domi in their first visit to NJ after his cheapshot in the playoffs).
WFAN.com posted an article how the devils have not been scoring and tonights win will pretty much be easy for the rangers. I'm not saying im confident, but i think we have all the talent to compete and after what marty said yesterday.. he has to back up his gamee. justdontgettotheshootout
Sadly, I have to agree with WFAN.
This will be a great test for the Devils as they will be finally be playing against a starting NHL goalie and an All-Star, while competing against a very good hockey team in the Rangers.
I can't believe I just wrote that. This is such a bizzaro hockey world where the Devils suck and Rangers are going to make the playoffs.
I don't know who was speculating that, but that's not Martin's game. Rafalski, yes, Martin, no. Martin's a solid position player, not an offensive dynamo. Plus he's behind Letang and Goligoski on the offense-dman chart. If either of them went down with an injury, he'd see more 1st unit time.
Martin & Michalek have bolstered the team's defense, but neither one was brought on board in hopes of being an offensive sparkplug. Martin's +9 and helping get the puck out of the zone and in transition, and Michalek has blocked 73 shots in 34 games.
Devils don't miss Martin's point production as much as they miss his ability to break out of the d-zone.
If Martin were still here he would be the only defensemen that can get the puck out of our zone.